Robot 6

Get great comics at cheap prices from the Top Shelf Massive $3 Sale

It’s an annual tradition to look forward to: The alternative comics publisher Top Shelf has unveiled its “Massive $3 Sale,” in which they’re pricing down their catalog to near-ridiculous levels — in many cases $3, and in many more cases just one lousy American dollar. For very little money, you can rack up a big chunk of one of the best comics publishers’ best comics.

What would I get? At the $3 level, Kolbeinn Karlsson’s The Troll King — a surreal collection of intertwined short stories that for once lives up to the overused, rarely true label “fairy tales for grown-ups” — is basically a must-buy. I’d also be sure to pick up Andy Hartzell’s Fox Bunny Funny, an unpredictable and impeccably cartooned funny-animal allegory about conformity and self-discovery. Lilli Carré’s remarkably assured debut collection of satirical short stories, Tales of Woodsman Pete, is another no-brainer. If you’re interested in rounding out your Alan Moore collection with some of his more off-the-beaten-path efforts, you can get all eight issues of his underground-culture zine Dodgem Logic, his prose novel Voice of the Fire, and his poetry/photography collaboration with José Villarubia The Mirror of Love for three bucks a pop. And you can pick up all three issues of Jeffrey Brown’s one-man action anthology series SulkBighead & Friends, a return to his genuinely funny superhero parody characters; Deadly Awesome, an 84-page mixed martial arts fight comic; and The Kind of Strength That Comes from Madness, a grab bag of sci-fi/fantasy/action/adventure spoofs — for a buck apiece, which is a steal.

Beyond the deepest discounts, you’ll rarely find the publisher’s heavy (literally–these books are big) hitters priced as low as they are now: Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell, Campbell’s Alec: The Year’s Have Pants omnibus, and Jeff Lemire’s complete Essex County are all $20, while Craig Thompson’s Blankets is just $22.50.

And hey, if you’re totally new to all of these books, so much the better. Maybe DC’s New 52 initiative has you in an “I’ll try anything for $3 a book” mood? If so, put a few bucks aside and get some full-fledged graphic novels for that price or lower. You’ll be glad you did.



Wish I didn’t have a car to repair right now.

The Troll King is a must-buy? Wow. I hated that book. I would agree, though, that investing some money in this sale is a great idea…I haven’t even read half of the awesome stuff I picked up during the sale last year.

Just got The Surrogates and Swallow Me Whole :) I wish their shipping prices weren’t so prohibitively expensive though-if this sale wasn’t going there’s no way I’d order anything from their website with $10 for basic shipping.

i was gonna buy some books but at 10$ for media mail decided to pass.

Well, we did it, comics: We found a way to complain about a sale. Take a bow!

Jason: Are penises really that much an obstacle to enjoyment? It’s weird to see you lump them in with genuinely disturbing elements like rape.

I surfed over there last night and snagged 12 books (which makes the shipping totally worth it).

I’d been meaning to grab “That Salty Air” forever, and I nearly got the 3 issues of “Sulk” on a whim at my LCS last week. I was hooked by the preview for “The Playwright”, and getting both trades for “The Surrogates” five-issue minis at 3 bucks each was a no-brainer.

Thanks for the heads-up!

“Jason: Are penises really that much an obstacle to enjoyment? It’s weird to see you lump them in with genuinely disturbing elements like rape.”

Well, yeah. I mean, I’m no prude, but constant, unnecessary full frontal nudity *is* distracting. (See also: people who found Dr. Manhattan’s swinging member so much of a distraction in the Watchmen movie that that’s all they can say about the entire film.) And yeah, I did mention the penises and the rape in the same sentence, but that was because I think both illustrate Karlsson’s aim to be provocative just for provocation’s sake, not because I think there’s some kind of equivalency there. The constant male nudity was just one more thing to add to the long list of things that I didn’t enjoy about the book.

I’ve got to say, though, I did enjoy your review of the book, even if my own take on the book couldn’t have been more different. The fact that people can have such diametrically opposed reactions to the same work is what makes art such a great topic of discussion.

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